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Infants And Toddlers in the Policy Picture: A Self-Assessment Toolkit For States

This toolkit is intended to help state policy leaders and advocates assess the current status of services for infants, toddlers, and their families, and to set priorities for improvement. A user-friendly format allows users to easily access state information from national sources, assess how your state compares to other states, and gather stakeholder input.

All infants and toddlers need good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences. Furthermore, young children benefit most from an early childhood system that is built through collaboration. These goals form the framework for a policy agenda that creates a comprehensive range of services and supports that honor the needs and choices of families for their children. This self-assessment toolkit draws on research on effective policies and best practices to help states evaluate progress toward building an effective early childhood system and set priorities for improvement.

The toolkit will guide you through a series of questions that will prompt you to collect data on how infants and toddlers are doing in your state and to analyze existing state policies and funding choices. In each section, ZERO TO THREE has provided national comparison data as well as suggested sources where you can find information for your state. Each topical section also includes optional stakeholder surveys that you may use to gather input on how existing services are meeting families’ needs. We recommend that you read Suggested Process for Using the Self-Assessment Toolkit before you begin using the toolkit.

If you are interested in consulting with someone at ZERO TO THREE about how to use this resource in your state, or if you would like to provide feedback on your experience with the toolkit, please contact [email protected].

The Self-Assessment Toolkit for States features:

• Suggested Process for Using the Self-Assessment Toolkit

• Online Toolkit—Questions about how children are doing, existing state policies and initiatives, and optional stakeholder survey questions. Topics covered include:

  • Overview of Families With Infants and Toddlers in the State
  • Good Health
  • Strong Families
  • Positive Early Learning Experiences
  • Collaboration and System Building

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